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Blausen Medical
Blausen Medical

Blausen Medical

Medically accurate and informative 3D animations

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Anticoagulants

The circulatory system is made up of the heart and blood vessels that carry blood throughout the body. In a healthy person, blood flow is normal, freely delivering oxygen and nutrients to all cells in the body. Coagulation, or blood clotting, is necessary after surgery or certain injuries. When a blood vessel is cut or damaged, a clot forms to stop bleeding. In the liver, vitamin K plays a major role the body’s ability to form blood clots. Once Vitamin K enters a liver cell, it binds to a chemical which activates it. The activated vitamin K then helps other chemicals to be released into the bloodstream to help form blood clots. Normally, the blood clot naturally breaks down as the injury heals. Sometimes abnormal clotting can occur, causing the clot to grow until it completely blocks the vessel. Or a piece of the clot can break away and travel in the bloodstream until it becomes trapped in a smaller blood vessel. This could lead to a pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke, or other problems. Anticoagulants are drugs that prevent blood clots and may be given after surgery or other medical treatments. Anticoagulants work by binding to the chemical that activates the vitamin K. As a result, the vitamin K is unable to alter the chemicals necessary for blood clotting prior to their release. While anticoagulants may prevent clots from growing and prevent new clots from forming, they do not dissolve existing blood clots. Anticoagulants are sometimes referred to as blood thinners, although they do not actually thin the blood. These drugs may be used as treatment for various blood vessel, heart, and lung conditions. Patients taking anticoagulants may bruise or bleed more easily. Be certain to discuss your diet and other medications you are taking with your doctor before beginning any new therapy.

Duration: 02:24
Licence: All rights reserved
Original Language: English
Published: 11/19/2015
Diseases and Conditions: Blood Clots / Blood Disorders / Heart Health / Lung Disease
Format: 3D Animation

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Anticoagulants

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